The following day ended up being a really bad one and Paige was grateful when she finally got home and could slam a few doors in frustration.  She went down to the basement and started working on her time machine but over-tightened a screw in anger.  “What is wrong with that guy?” she yelled to nobody as she pulled back on the screwdriver to slightly loosen the screw.  She rolled back onto her knees and scowled as she thought back to science club that afternoon.  Lately Ned had become infatuated by what she was working on and just about every week at science club he made a point of asking, out loud in front of everyone, how her project was coming along and today she was fed up.

            “Why do you ask that every time we meet?” Dan had asked trying to take the burden off Paige. 

            Paige had smiled with relief as Ned sat there speechless.  She’d forgotten in that moment who she was or what she was doing for the first time ever as her mind wandered to the dance the following night. 
            “Forget this right now,” she said as she stood up and stretched.  She tossed the screwdriver aside and went upstairs to her room where she opened her closet door and found her gown for the following evening.  She gently touched the soft fabric before she took it out and held it up in front of her for the umpteenth time since she’d bought it.  She ran her hand over the skirt and swayed gently back and forth.  She’d loved the feel of the skirt brushing against her legs when she’d tried it on and it had fit perfectly.  She really hoped Dan liked it.  With that thought she sighed, hung the dress away and stretched out on her bed.  Dan.  The one person she had spent so many years relying on to be there as her friend and confidante, well, at least behind Addie. 

            Up until this year she had been so caught up with school and especially science that she’d completely ignored what was so obvious.  Her feelings had been shelved by her desire to succeed and though Addie was a great friend and had other, rather well-known, aspirations of her own, mainly with Ned, she hadn’t helped to steer Paige down the right path as far as love and relationships were concerned.  Paige also didn’t get a lot of direction from her parents so what she had learned she’d learned on her own and because of the lack of support from home, she’d chosen to focus on school work, especially science, and go away to school so she could finally break free from her mother. 

            But she was totally inexperienced at this dating thing and she was really nervous about the dance the following evening.  Addie had given her some tips during lunches but she was glad she had already bought her dress.  She didn’t want anyone’s opinion on what she was going to wear.  Her phone chimed on her bedside table and she rolled over and looked at who the message was from.  A smile spread across her face and she could feel that familiar pull deep in her stomach when she saw it was Dan.

            I missed talking to you after club. What are you doing? He wrote.

            She didn’t know if she should tell him that she wasn’t doing anything but hanging in her room right now or not.  I missed talking to you too.  Thanks for saving my butt in there. Right now, I’m just hanging out and thinking.  She figured that was close enough and she hit send.

            Thinking about what? He pressed.

            Tomorrow night if you must know! 🙂 was her response and she rolled her eyes as she hit send again.

            Really? What about it? He continued to press.

            You will have to wait to find out.

                You don’t want to go with me anymore?

                I can’t wait to go with you!

                Phew, I was getting worried.

                Yeah, right.  You know I want to go and you’re the only person I want to go with.

                I didn’t know that but I do now.

            Paige was getting frustrated because she didn’t know how to respond to that.  She’d always been honest with Dan and able to say anything to him.  How could you not know that?
            Paige waited wondering how come Dan hadn’t written back yet.  Maybe I’m not the only one who doesn’t know what to say, she thought while she continued to wait.  Finally the phone chimed and she grabbed for it again.
            I’ve wanted this for so long that sometimes I still can’t believe it’s actually happening and that it’s happening tomorrow night!
            Paige smiled.  She knew it was inevitable that by the end of the following night she would officially be Dan’s girlfriend and her stomach rolled again at the thought and she smiled bigger.  Can’t wait!
            Neither can I.  Am I still coming over tonight?
                Definitely.  I’d like to get this project done before Christmas.
                I understand that. 

I’d also like to finish the TM.  I was so angry at Ned I had to walk away from it.

I was pretty ticked at him myself.
                I know you were, thanks again for getting me out of that.
                NP. Can I help you with that too when I get there?
                Sure, we’ll be having dinner soon so anytime after 6:30 is fine.
                See you then.
            Paige set her phone down and went back to her closet where she once more ran her fingers over the delicate fabric of the dress before she closed her closet door and went back downstairs to get her backpack and quickly do her other homework.